The International Electronic Journal of Health Education

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IEJHE, Vol. 2 (1), 28-50, January 1, 1999, Copyright 1999

Examining Diversity

Kristin Adams, M.S.1; Priya Banerjee, M.A.1; Alicia Battle, M.S.1; Pat Dunegan, M.S.1; Karl Larson, M.S.1; Will Shaner, M.S.2
1 Teaching Assistants, Health Education, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
2 Teaching Assistant, Recreation, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Corresponding author: Alicia Battle, Southern Illinois University, 307 Pulliam, MS 4632, 475 Clocktower Drive, Carbondale, IL 62901; 618.453.2777 (phone); 618.453.1829 (fax); boss2@siu.edu

Abstract

Diversity in higher education is an important issue, whether in the board room or the classroom. Developing programs centered around diversity can cultivate the richness our differences provide in the learning experience. This manual was cultivated through an in-depth look at the diversity issue on the campus of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (SIUC) in the spring of 1998. The manual, Examining Diversity, was the culminating seminar activity for a group of six teaching assistants in SIUC's department of Health Education and Recreation. The manual was designed to be functional and adaptable for use in any college classroom.

Diversity is a multidimensional concept having varied connotations. For the purposes of this manual, diversity is defined as variation in culture, race, gender, sexual identity, visible and invisible disabilities, and/or age. With this definition in mind, the manual works to explore diversity in the classroom through several broad based activities. The intent of these activities is to expose the class to diversity in a non- threatening manner. While the activities were developed with college students in mind, most may be adapted to fit corporate and community settings.

The manual consists of six sections, defining activities designed to address issues surrounding gender, sexual identity, race, international cultures, nontraditional students, and students with disabilities. Activities are designed to provide experiences and provoke thought and discussion, representing the concerns of the entire student population. Finally, this manual was designed to encourage a positive exchange regarding diversity and the issues the grow out of this topic.

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Copyright 1999 by IEJHE.